Local News

Search for Cabbie Becomes Homicide Investigation

Posted March 24, 2008

— Cumberland County authorities on Monday classified the search for a cab driver missing since last week as a homicide investigation.

William James Simon, 61, of 1598 Gillespie St. in Fayetteville, was reported missing Thursday by his roommate, but Simon's boss at L&M Taxi Service said he was working late that night.

Simon picked up a fare in Fayetteville around midnight and was headed to Raleigh, his boss said.

A passerby on Friday found his taxi abandoned near a radio tower off Rosser Street in Spring Lake. Simon's Bible was on the front seat.

Acquaintances called Simon very reliable, honest and good-natured. He started driving a cab a couple of months ago after getting laid off from a longtime job.

"Willie is a good, kind-hearted person. If he can do anything to help you, he will," said his estranged wife, Elizabeth Simon.

The Simons have been married for 24 years, and Elizabeth Simon said they remain friends despite their separation. William Simon stopped by the diner where she works last Thursday afternoon, she said.

Cumberland County authorities said people with William Simon's character usually don't run off on their own without telling someone, which leads investigators to suspect foul play.

Elizabeth Simon said she's trying to remain hopeful.

"It's hard. I am trying to hold myself together for the children and the grandchildren," she said. "I just want to know he is alright. That's all I can say."

William Simon was described as a black man, 6 feet, 2 inches tall and about 200 pounds. He has gray hair, is going bald and always wears glasses. He has scars on the right side of his stomach.

Anyone with information about Simon is urged to call the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office at 910-323-1500.


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  • lilwil Mar 25, 2008

    It's too bad you can't even be a good samaritan or do your job without someone trying to take advantage by causing injury and/or death to the person(s).

    Yes, I hope he is found alive and okay and the individual(s) who done this be caught or anyone who may have knowledge regarding this will come forth.

    These type criminals are not satisfied until they are inflicting pain upon someone else.

  • 215born910raised Mar 25, 2008

    When you commit senseless acts like this, you need the death penalty; immediately.

  • dogsrule12cheek Mar 25, 2008

    I saw this story aired last night when they were talking to his
    ex-wife. This is a sad stroy he seems to be a very nice man and well respected i just dont understand all the murders walking
    around free, like someone said (aren't going to use the death penalty then bring back the chain gangs!!!) i have said this
    several times, Bring it back and make there #$#$% beleive in the system because they DONT NOW.

    God Bless this man and his family

  • bomanicous Mar 24, 2008

    I hope he's alright...it doesn't sound good, there must be a reason it's turned into a homicide investigation.

    I get so sick of these crimes (especially murders) of people just for a couple of dollars. If they aren't going ot use the death penalty then bring back the chain gangs!!!

  • allison842 Mar 24, 2008

    I hope they find him. Driving a cab is a very dangerous job! And I guess so is riding in one. Anybody remember that movie Bone Collector?

    Hope he's safe.